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October 17, 2020
January 7, 2021

Anyone for a Mr Whippy?

There a saying in dating parlance: “Don’t give away the van when you could be selling the ice creams”. In in other words: don’t sleep with someone on a first date.

Not sure about dating, but it’s a good approach to marketing.

One of the things that’s often wrong with a firm’s websites, emails, blog posts, etc, is that they assume that the client has a certain level of knowledge about what they do, so they go in for a snog when a peck on the cheek would be more appropriate.

It’s easy to do.

Because we’re all so close to what we do, it’s hard to see it from fresh eyes. We spend most of our time zoned in on the detail.

But this is no good for your stone cold prospect whose coming to this without any context. They don’t yet know about certain acronyms like DFM, never mind the benefits they may being them. So telling people on your home page that you’re one of the few firms who work with one is going to mean absolutely nothing.

People need a bit of build up, and excitement. They need to be primed into what they’re about to hear. Not in the way Americans so on webinars: ‘What I’m going to tell you in the next 30 minutes is going to change your life forever.’


Just with something more subtle. Sympathising with them and their issue, agitating it a little to emphasise the need to solve it, followed by a description of your solution and why it’s better than anyone else’s. In short, you have to build up to it.

A bit like when you do an excited voice to let your puppy or child know that they’re about to experience something really very exciting.

I remember handing over a wooden train to a friend’s toddler as a present once without the all-important build up. It didn’t help that there wasn’t any wrapping paper or even a bag. I just produced it from my pocket and handed it over. (I’ve no idea what I was thinking).

Quite rightly he looked at me as if to say ‘What am I supposed to do with this?’

What I should have done of course was to insert a lot of cooing and oohs and ahhs, and ‘What’s this I’ve got in my pocket’ phrases beforehand, to signal that he needed to get excited about what was just a lump of coloured wood.

That’s what marketing is really. Getting excited on behalf of your prospect so you can sell the coloured wood.

That’s not to poo poo marketing. It’s a crowded world out there. We have the attention span of a… sorry I got distracted. You need to grab people by the goolies and give it all you’ve got.

It’s not enough to tell them what we think and know about our products or service and expect them to work it all out. This might have worked in the past, but now we have to work harder – translate that for them, sign post it, and add a drumroll or two.

There’s a great line in the TV drama Harlots, which lays bare 18th century prostitution: “You can flog a sweet meat for twice the price if it’s in a pretty paper.” So the final lesson is, if you do all of this properly, you can charge more for it too.

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